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Interesting Article from Adaptive Path

February 26th, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

Adaptive Path appears to be some company which specialises in web software.

They have created this article which talks about a new combination of technologies that they are referring to as “AJAX” for use on web sites to make them interact more with the user.

So instead of filling in some information on a web page, then clicking submit and waiting for the web page to load before you get told that you have entered a field in incorrectly, you would fill in the form, wait a couple of seconds for the data to be validated, and then would be told on the same page that the field was wrong.

This is interesting, because we use a similar technique at work, except we go a little further with this approach. N.B. I should point out now that I don’t want to go into too much detail about this, because I’m not sure of intellectual property rights, and how happy my company will be for me to reveal certain information! i.e. I don’t want this or this to happen to me!

Basically, we have a browser application, based around the Internet Explorer ActiveX control, and then have a series of ActiveX controls which maintain and control the interaction of various input boxes on the screen, and can present data on the screen using DHTML and DOM. This can then communicate with a database using HTTP.

This approach works very well, and we are actively developing (and have deploye) several solutions using this technique. There are disadvantages though, you’re limited to the layout properties of your chosen HTML engine – which sometimes can’t be specific enough (e.g. we get “twitching” – where the layout changes by two or three pixels but this affects all the page), and some of the easy things that you would normally do in an “native” application you just can’t do.

It’s a good technique, it has it’s disadvantages, but it’s also very powerful.

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